Pork Butt Porchetta

There is just something about a big hunk of meat slow roasting in the oven on a crisp fall day. I've made this a few times now, once with a whole belly and the others with the butt. The latest version I made for dinner, served it with Parmesan crusted polenta and sauteed mushrooms. It was spectacular, the pork moist and tender, flavored throughout with the herbs, garlic and lemon. Take the time if you can to season the roast a day or two ahead of roasting, you'll be glad you did. I use roasted garlic in the rub, I think it adds a deeper richer garlic flavor without the sharp bite of raw. This roast cooks low and slow for several hours, with a dry white wine for basting. At the end of the roasting time I kick up the heat to 400 to get the skin to crisp up and give the pork a rich dark crust. Make this soon, you'll be happy you did.

Pork Butt Porchetta

1 boneless pork butt, 7-8 lbs
3/4 c. roasted garlic cloves
1/2 c olive oil
4 T minced fresh rosemary
4 T minced fresh sage
2 T minced fresh thyme
grated zest of two lemons
1 T crushed red pepper
2 T kosher salt
1 T cracked black pepper

1/2 bottle dry white wine
1 c chicken stock

Prepare the Roast: 1-2 days before roasting.
In a food processor or blender combine the roasted garlic, olive oil, herbs and lemon zest. Lay the pork skin side down and following the opening cut the pork so it will lay flat score the meat every 2" about 1" deep in a diamond pattern. Flip the pork over and score the skin in the same pattern but not cutting through to the meat. Flip again so the inside is facing you. Time to get messy. Cut about 5 lengths of kitchen twine to tie the roast.  Rub about 3/4 of the garlic herb mixture over the pork, making sure to get it into the cuts. Sprinkle generously with the salt and peppers. Roll the roast and tie it together. Smear the remaining herb mixture on the outside,
sprinkling with more salt and pepper. Cover the roast and let it
hang out in the fridge for a day or so.

When it's time to roast preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the Porchetta skin side up in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After an hour pour about 1 c of wine over the roast. Keep roasting for about 3 more hours, adding wine as needed to keep the pan juices moist. Once the pork reaches 160-170 degrees turn up the heat to 400 and roast another half hour (add more wine so the pan juices don't dry up). Remove from the oven and set the roast aside to rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Put the roasting pan on the stove and remove most of the fat (I use a turkey baster for this).  Turn on the heat and add a bit more wine to deglaze the bottom. If needed add a cup or so of chicken stock to balance the flavors. Serve over the sliced roast.

This was so good last night that we are slicing it thin and making Cuban sandwiches with it for dinner tonight. Can't wait!


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